Sunday, August 18, 2013

August 18 - Senior Football Semi Final: Connemara Gaels v Christopher's

Christopher's 1-12 Connemara Gaels 3-10

The Connemara Gaels caused somewhat of a surprise dumping Christopher's out of the senior football championship with a four point win.  The Gaels rode 2 first half Michael Lundy goals, and a third early in the second from Ryan Hyde, all the way to the final whistle.  Christopher's looked like they could force extra time and pushed hard in the final 15 minutes for a vital score, but the Gaels did enough to hang on until the final whistle.

Ryan Hyde on the attack for the Gaels.
The Gaels enjoyed the better of things for most of the first half, in large part thanks to 2 goals from Michael Lundy.  On each occasion Lundy used his speed to make his opening and finished both times.  Christopher's effort sputtered apart from 3 points early in the half.  The Gaels matched with a flurry of points coming from Lundy, Kevin McGrath, and Noel Graham.  Lundy's second goal put the Gaels into a 6 point lead with 10 minutes to go until the break.  Christopher's came back into it with an excellent David Culhane point, another from Padhraic Lucey.  Just before half time a harmless looking ball into the Gaels square from Dan Kenneally drew the keeper and corner back, and Chris Brady nipped in between the two to fist into the net.  The goal set up a finely balanced second half, at the break it was 1-5 to 2-4 in the Gaels favour.

Hyde and Mark Delaney rise for the ball.
The Gaels made up for the goal conceded at the end of the first half with a three pointer right after the restart from Ryan Hyde.  Noel Graham followed with a point and the six point lead was quickly restored.  The Gaels efforts began to flag in the latter stages of the game as fatigue set in and Christopher's set about narrowing the gap.  Michael Quinlivan, who had a quiet game by his standards, Mark Delaney, and Brady pointed as the Gaels conceded ground and gave away frees within scoring range as the game approached the last 15 minutes.  Four scores on the trot from Christopher's reduced the deficit to a single goal.  Christopher's then lost Robert Bresnehan who needlessly got himself sent off after a foul on Lundy.  The Gaels continued to live dangerously though as Christopher's still pressed forward with nothing to lose.  After Noel Graham pointed a free, Eoin Connelly was forced into making a brave stop from Gary O'Leary late in the game.  Quinlivan pointed the ensuing 50 with room to spare.  It was Coleman Mulkerrins who put the insurance point over the bar to keep more than the goal in it and the Gaels are in their second Boston senior football final in 3 years.

Christopher's:  P. Kenneally, C Murphy, D. Culhane (0-1), M. Delaney (0-1), D. O'Sullivan, E. O'Neill, D. Kenneally, P. Lucey (0-1), K. McAllister, G. O'Leary, P. Quirke (0-2), C. Brady (1-5), M. Quinlivan (0-2).  Gaels:  E. Connolly, L. Cullen, C. Cullen, P. McNicholas, R. Kiely, D. Doolan, R. Hyde (1-0), D. Comer, S. Connelly, N. Graham (0-5), M. Lundy (2-2), C. Mulkerrins (0-1), K. McGrath (0-2).

By Rory O'Donnell

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